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Interview with Chris Hardwick

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July 22, 2008 : Interview with Speedsolving.com member Chris Hardwick : Currently (at the time of this interview) holds the World Record for 4x4x4 Blindfolded (6:20.96) and 5x5x5 Blindfolded (15:22.00). He was also the first person in the world to solve a 6x6x6 Blindfolded (unofficially).

Location:
Morrisville, North Carolina



Occupation:
Assistant Director - Mathnasium Learning Center

What is your favorite event, why?
My favorite event would have to be 4x4x4 BLD. It's the most fast paced of the medium sized cubes BLD events, and it involves the 4x4x4 cube, which is by far my favorite cube 2x2-7x7. The 4x4x4 is the only cube of any size where the parity of the edge orbit is completely independent of the rest of the cube in the supercube sense. This means you truly can swap 2 edges on a 4x4x4 supercube without affecting anything else on the cube. This is not possible for any other n x n x n supercube that has edge pieces.

What made you become interested in solving puzzles?
I've always enjoyed solving puzzles, and when I was in 8th grade I rediscovered an old cube that had been in my closet for years. I decided I finally wanted to learn to solve it. I regret it now, but I got frustrated after about a week of trying to figure it out on my own so I gave up and learned a solution online. Ever since that I've been addicted to cubing, I don't know any other way to describe it.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest "cubing" accomplishment?
The cubing accomplishment that I am personally most proud of is inventing the extended cross solving approach for Fridrich solving, and having it become so successful and widely used. I think this kind of thing is not necessarily an "accomplishment", but I feel it is the most influential thing I have done in the cubing world.

For something more creative than just modifying an existing method, the accomplishment I am most proud of is a shared accomplishment with Daniel Beyer, and that is co-inventing the BH blindfold cubing method with him. We're working on having it soon published online.

What are your other hobbies?
I enjoy playing frisbee, studying/reading/listening to/writing in/ German, studying math, making projective geometry math art.

What is/are your pet peeve(s)?
I really have to stifle the urge to scream when I hear the "I used to peel the stickers" comment. I try to be as polite as possible while changing the subject as quickly as possible. The worst part is that you know that comment is coming as soon as they say "Well you know..."

I also hate it when I hear people say "Oh Rubik's cube, man I could NEVER do that!" I wish people would have more confidence in themselves, and I basically tell people exactly that when I hear that comment.
 
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